The solemn stone walls of New Salem Missionary Baptist Church in north Minneapolis reverberated with songs of forgiveness, healing and hope as part of the “Never Would Have Made It” benefit concert.

Sponsored by Death to Life, a faith-based organization dedicated to ending violence through reconciliation between families affected by murder, the concert featured the Rev. Jerry McAfee and minister Bernice Gregory, along with the church’s choir.

The organization was founded by Mary Johnson after her son, Laramiun Byrd, was murdered 21 years ago. Church and community members turned out for the fundraising event, the goal of which Gregory stated best: “The memory will last, but the pain will pass.”